Valuation: What is My Company Worth?

19.01.2016 |

Episode #3 of the course “A guide to seed fundraising” by Geoff Ralston, Y Combinator


You are two hackers with an idea, a few months of hacking’s worth of software, and several thousand users. What is your company worth? It should be obvious that no formula will give you an answer. There can only be the most notional sort of justification for any value at all. So, how do you set a value when talking to a potential investor?

Why do some companies seem to be worth $20mm and some $4mm? Because investors were convinced that was what they were (or will be in the near future) worth. It is that simple. Therefore, it is best to let the market set your price and to find an investor to set the price or cap. The more investor interest your company generates, the higher your value will trend.

Still, it can be difficult in some circumstances to find an investor to tell you what you are worth. In this case you can choose a valuation, usually by looking at comparable companies who have valuations. Please remember that the important thing in choosing your valuation is not to over-optimize. The objective is to find a valuation with which you are comfortable, that will allow you to raise the amount you need to achieve your goals with acceptable dilution, and that investors will find reasonable and attractive enough to write you a check.

Seed valuations tend to range from $2mm-$10mm, but keep in mind that the goal is not to achieve the best valuation, nor does a high valuation increase your likelihood of success.


Recommended book

“The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital: Inside Secrets from the Leaders in the Startup Game” by Andrew Romans


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